Adventsgave del 3: Uddrag fra GAFFA-skribent Henrik Tuxens nye bog Punk Rock is Freedom.
Iggy Pop var Kurt Cobains største forbillede og den "celebrity," han virkelig værdsatte at møde i sin tid som rockstjerne, og Bowies "The Man Who Sold the World" blev Nirvanas mest populære covernummer.
I 1999 var jeg konstitueret redaktør på GAFFA (Peter Ramsdal var på orlov), og i samme periode fik vi samtidigt interviews med Iggy Pop og Bowie, henholdsvis i London og New York. Masterplanen blev, at jeg snakkede med Iggy i London, og Jan Opstrup Poulsen rejste til Staterne, men at vi begge to stillede en række af de samme spørgsmål til dem begge om hinanden. Efterfølgende samlede jeg den fælles historie om makkerparret, der fik titlen "Kroppen og hjernen".
Læs om det, og meget andet om sammenhængen mellem det unikke makkerpar Iggy/Bowie, og hvilken betydning det havde for arvtageren Kurt Cobain, i Punk Rock is Freedom.
LÆS OGSÅ: GAFFA-skribent udgiver bog om Kurt Cobain – baseret på samtaler med ikoner
Her er et udsnit.
Iggy: I believe that more than anything, as an artist, it’s crucial to be as honest as possible and express where you’re at, at the time of creation. If not, you easily become pompous and in that sense talk down to people. Many artists have built big careers on that, but that’s something I detest.
…..You’ve said “no regrets.” But on Avenue B as on other records, you deal with a deeply felt emptiness and loneliness. Is that a consequence of your at times insane lifestyle?
Iggy: That’s a fair statement, I’ll say that’s the price I’m paying at the moment. That’s a current problem which I tend to deal with, as we all are dealing with other problems. But that’s a fair statement.
The World’s Forgotten Boy
The story of Bowie and Iggy is as legendary and powerful as any in modern popular music, but also painful and almost heartbreaking, perpetuated in the Berlin albums from the late 70s. In short, Bowie would hail Iggy & The Stooges as one of his favorite artists, in interviews at the time of his young masterpiece Hunky Dory (1971). The pair met in New York in 1972, where Iggy thanked Bowie for his comment, but added that he, on the contrary, believed Bowie’s ditto, sucked. That didn’t prevent a friendship from flourishing. Bowie was at the time working on his next classic album Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars (read: Ziggy/Iggy, Stardust/Pop) whereas Iggy’s life and career were in ruins, addicted to heroin and having poor record sales. The sophisticated and brilliant brain, Bowie united with the primordial force and body of Iggy Pop.
Bowie organized a management and record contract for Iggy, but the label hated Raw Power (today generally regarded as a masterpiece and the true birth of punk rock). Iggy remembers:
Iggy: Everybody viciously tried to stop me around the time of Raw Power. I was doomed by management, record company, the radio, press, the media. Then I realised that the door out, was the same door as I came in, David Bowie. The record company rejected my own mixes, but we got David, and we did some new ones together. They were better but everything was done so fast, without any more in the poorest of conditions. But on the contrary, I was convinced that this was the best music, so that’s what I’m gonna do. This is what I play, and this is what I’m gonna sing about.
Needless to say, the ties to Kurt Cobain are striking. No one even comes close to Iggy, and this is not only the music, but the attitude and approach, mentally as well as physically. The underdog going against the mainstream, believing in his own voice and creation against all odds. And as far as “The Brain”; Nirvana’s biggest cover hit is the stunning version of Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World’ from MTV Unplugged. In his journals Kurt ranked Bowie’s album of the same name in his all time Top 50. Bowie himself said that he was “blown away” by the fact that Kurt covered his song, believed it was “heartfelt” and expressed that he really wanted to meet and talk, and maybe collaborate with Kurt (which never happened). He added that kids would later come up to him saying, “How cool, you’re covering a Nirvana song,” when he played The Man Who Sold the World in concert.